If you’re a businessperson or someone interested in understanding how to facilitate innovation, you’ve probably heard of “design thinking” by now. Coined by IDEO’s David Kelley, the term refers to a set of principles, from mindset to process, that can be applied to solve complex problems. I’ve seen articles lately ranging from those that highlight its potential, [Design Thinking for Social Innovation, How does design thinking give companies a competitive advantage?] to those that warn of it’s impending failure as a practice [Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You , The Coming Boom and Bust of Design Thinking]. I’ve been eager to enter into the conversation, especially because some of the arguments around the topic don’t make sense to me and I wanted to know why. Change by Design, written by IDEO’s CEO Tim Brown, was on my winter reading list anyway, so I decided to finish it before bringing in my own perspectives.
I just got through the book a few days ago, and feel like I “get it.” So I’ve spent a few days reflecting on it and rereading some innovation articles, and think there is a bigger picture at the essence of design thinking that is being lost on some. I’m going to provide a brief summary of the book (from my interpretation), and tie in some other areas that brought me insights into these ideas. Continue reading